T/n: A bit late Tuesday's Chapter. I'll have ch. 177 up as soon as possible, sometime tomorrow morning at the latest. Sorry about the lateness. I'm still getting used to new semester at college, but hopefully I should have everything set by next week.
"Just what are they planning, sir?"
Rinse Kingdom Northern Regional Corp's Stoneham Border Gate soldier Campbell stared at the buffer zone and creased his brows.
The scene outside the border gate was brutal.
Between the bleak hills and plains, big and small orc troops had taken place.
It literally was the situation right before a battle would arise.
But strangely, the orcs merely walked up close to the gate to shout and sing, and did not make any recognizable attack.
Stoneham Border Gate Captain Heinz, who was glaring at the orcs from a watchtower, snorted.
"Hmph. Just where would there be a plan in those stupid monsters?"
A cold smile hung around his mouth.
"They got afraid at our defense forces and aren't being able to carelessly approach."
"Is it like that, sir?"
Campbell tilted his head and stared at the outside of the border gate.
'It looks like they absolutely don't have a desire to fight though......'
He wasn't talking of the troop's movements or the camps' arrangements.
The unique air that could be felt at the battlefields, that of a troop facing a battle, wasn't felt.
Orcs were, as if.
'They look as if they came out on an outing or something.'
But this was only Campbell's thought.
He couldn't repeatedly raise a question to Heinz, who stressed the hierarchy of command.
'Well, it's fine for me if a battle doesn't happen.'
He decided to simply think well and easy of it.
But even so, the somehow uneasy feeling couldn't be helped.
A quiet sigh flowed out on its own.
At the same time as him, there was one who was exhaling a long sigh outside the border gate also.
He was Gank, a prominent warrior of the Auraq Tribe and the one who acted as the tribe head Marrak's right-hand man.
A sigh continued once again.
Marrak, who was raising a cheap drink next to him, creased his brows.
"Gank. Why are you sighing like that?"
They were words spat out as if to grumble.
Gank stared at the Stoneham Border Gate for a moment, then answered in a gruff voice.
"Tribe Head. Are we really going to keep staying like this?"
At those words, Marrak snickered and filled his cup.
"Hah, I was wondering what it was. We only have to intimidate them."
He crudely emptied his cup, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
A burp popped out.
"Since it'll be difficult if a battle needlessly and actually happens, just control the guys properly."
With an uncomfortable expression, Gank leaked groaned.
He stared straight at Marrak's eyes.
"We can capture that level of gate even with our current strength."
"Ah hah, you really don't listen."
Marrak put down the cup and stood up from his seat.
Although Gank too was of a big size that wasn't light, he was on the small side compared to Marrak.
Unconsciously, he shrank back his neck.
Marrak pressed Gank's shoulder and stared at the Stoneham Border Gate.
"Don't you remember the words Chris said? He said that the fief war will end the instant we chop those bastards and capture the gate. Our role is merely......"
"Holding on the bastards' ankles......"
Gank finished the sentence.
With an expression saying 'right', Marrak tapped Gank's shoulder.
"So go shout or sing a song when it's time. Go fly some arrows at the wall if you are really bored."
Gank lowered his head as if to say it couldn't be helped, then returned to his tent.
Marrak stared at his back, then snickered out a laugh.
"You brat. Just wait a bit more. Since I'll give you a chance to fight as much as you want."
A weighty smile hung around his mouth.
He rolled and rolled again his solidly stiffen head this way and that.
"Although getting the human bastards' help is also good, but......"
The four canines crudely moved.
"Huhuhu. As expected, orcs must be like orcs."
A killing intent flowed in his eyes.
But Marrak soon shooked his head back and forth and grabbed his cup.
"Let's wait a bit more. A bit more."
He laboriously cooled his boiling heart.
But on his eyes, the skill intent was still flowing.
"It has been a while. Is it the first after the fief war started?"
The person who extended his hand as he faintly smiled was Count Jonathan Chase.
"Yes. Since the direction we each marched was different, sir."
The one lightly grabbing that hand was Kali Owells.
Finally, Kali had led the Owells Forces and had joined up with the Chase Legion.
"Anyhow, it's nice to see you."
Jonathan sat down on his seat and shook his right hand.
A beauty who it was hard to tell whether she had worn or taken off clothes came up and filled wine into the empty cup.
Soon, a simple table of snacks and fruits were set.
It wasn't an ordinary sight that could be seen in the middle of a battlefield.
Jonathan, while holding his cup, looked at Kali.
"You left the northeastern frontline to your son, you say?"
A short answer.
"Can he be trusted? You haven't abruptly entrusted an important duty to him because of a reason that he is your son, no?"
Jonathan's gaze was sharp.
However, Kali did not quail a bit.
He answered with a composed voice.
"I am not of a personality that would trust and leave an important duty because of reason that he is my son. It is something I have decided after meticulously checking him, sir."
It was the true to a certain degree.
It was something unknown whether he would had thrown Walter away from the start if the abilities and talent he had was pitiful.
Of course, though the point that he was the firstborn who would lead the house also couldn't be ignored.
"You probably took care of it well yourself."
Jonathan cheerily smiled and nodded his head.
"Anyhow, I'll be counting on you from now on."
Now was the time they had to move not as two but as one.
Kali faintly smiled and lowered his head.
"Rather, I would like to ask well of you, sir."
A warm mood.
But below that, a mood horrifying like a blade was flowing.
'This bastard. He isn't one who would stay below anyone.'
Jonathan realized that Kali's ambition was much greater than he had thought.
That was truly an easy thing.
'He is a bastard like me.'
Jonathan and Kali were, even if they were similar, much too similar.
However, Jonathan did now betray his heart.
He still needed Kali.
He began to spread out the plans he had thought up ahead of time.
"For now, let's clean up the western frontline's Tale Legion."
"Yes. Since the northeast's Lancephil Guardian Army is a gang made up of farmers."
If they were to particularly decide the work's order, the west was the first rather than the northeast.
Moreover, the time left until the fief war's end wasn't a lot.
It was a thought to subjugate the Tale Legion in an instant and then suppress the western frontline.
However, they did not quite know.
That the Tale Legion, no, the western frontline they were aiming at had already disappeared and was gone.
"By the way, why are we keep on going towards the south?"
"You're right. Isn't the Pavor Castle in the west?"
"Don't know. Since we merely do as they ordered from above."
Three-four soldiers busily moved their feet and chatted in a small voice.
At that moment, a young adjutant who was moving while riding a horse to the left and right of the line came up tightly close.
"Has Sir Count ever done something pointless?"
The soldiers immediately shook their heads.
It wasn't a question that needed to be contemplated.
The young adjutant faintly smiled and nodded his head.
"Then trust and follow. For the reason we go south is because the road is there."
Voice filled with certainty.
The young adjutant raised his head and looked at the head of the march.
Flags raised high.
< Lancephil Guardian Army. >
< Roan Lancephil. >
Below that, Roan Lancephil was moving while riding on a warhorse.
Currently, the Lancephil Guardian Army was marching not westward but southward.
It was a course difficult to understand.
But even so, excluding a few minor soldiers, most people did not hold question at Roan's decision.
They had came to recognize Roan's ability through the repeating battles and victories.
Like that, the Lancephil Guardian Army's march south continued.
After an unknown distance marched.
A cool wind flowed at the tip of their noses.
Simultaneously, a blue line of river spread in front of their eyes.
"Ah! Those are......?"
Baron Andre Molde, who acted as the Guardian Army's scout and moved the most ahead, exclaimed.
At the place the blue river and the brown-color sand met.
Following the long riverside, tens of warships were moored.
The giant flag hanging on the center mast fluttered in the wind.
< Tale Legion. >
The Lancephil Guardian Army's soldiers, who had climbed up onto the hill a moment later, goggled their eyes.
"How is Tale Legion......"
"Weren't they at the west?"
When everyone whispered with confused looks, a group ran towards the hill from the ships.
The group, which had instantly closed the distance and approached, soon got down from their horses and saluted.
"Sir! We greet Sir Count."
Resounding voices and bold looks.
A perfectly ordered sight.
They were the Tale Legion's commanders, including Austin, Semi, and Austin.
The tip of Roan's mouth softly went up.
"You arrived as the schedule."
"Yes sir. As you have ordered, we moved under the cover of the dark. Excluding Brian and the troop below him located at the western end, the entire Tale Legion has arrived safely."
Roan, with a proud expression, nodded his head.
"You have done well. I will immediately hold a meeting of the commanders."
"Yes. We shall prepare it, sir."
Austin quickly answered, then sent a hand signal.
Already, the Tale Legion had perfectly set its system.
The thousand-man rank commanders rapidly and perfectly executed the order.
'Is this that very Tale Legion?'
'The most powerful of the powerful army that won countless victories in numerous battles.'
Baron Bernard Landingham and Baron Andre Molde inwardly exclaimed greatly.
At that moment, Austin and Semi saluted towards Bernard and Andre.
"I am Austin, Tale Legion's vice-commander and the Piedes Troop's three-thousand-man commander, sir."
"Sir, I am Semi, Tale Legion's vice-commander and the Impasse Troop's three-thousand-man commander."
Bernard and Andre, at the abrupt greetings, quickly lowered their heads.
"I am Bernard Lancephil Guardian Army's Bernard Landingham."
"I'm Lancephil Guardian Army's Andre Molde."
Although they were nobles, they couldn't thoughtlessly speak down on Austin and Semi.
The position called the vice-commander of a legion, and the one that led Count Roan Lancephil's legion at that wasn't a level that one could face informally.
Roan lightly glanced at the four people, then pulled his rein.
"Then should we go to the meeting room?"
"Yes. I will lead the way, sir."
The one who quickly got on a warhorse was Harrison.
Soon, with him at the head, numerous commanders' movement began.
Simultaneously, the Lancephil Guardian Army's soldiers, who had done a difficult march over a long time, also received the guide of the Tale Legion's soldiers and were able to take a sweet time to rest for once.
The moment the Owells Forces and the Chase Legion joined up.
Not at the west, but in the south as well, the Tale Legion and the Lancephil Guardian army, which had been far apart, came to combine their strengths.
The Tale Legion and the Lancephil Guardian Army against the Chase Legion and the Owells Forces.
As if they had planned with each other, each side's two pivotal legions came together under a single flag.
Of course, although this was all a board that Roan and his retainers had made, unfortunately, Jonathan and Kali weren't able to guess such truth at all.
"I reorganize the Lancephil Guardian Army as the Lancephil Legion and appoint Bernard and Andre as the vice-commanders as well as five-thousand-man commanders."
At Roan's words, all retainers lowered their heads.
Because it was the result that had came out after a long debate and mediation, there was no one who opposed or spoke complaints.
Furthermore, it merely sounds five-thousand-man commander, and the soldiers Bernard and Andre actually commanded was not quite three thousand.
By that much, Lancephil Legion's numbers was a level that was yet absurdly lacking to be called a legion.
'Since we also left a troop at the northeastern frontline, it can't be helped.'
But even so, it wasn't as if the Lancephil Guardian Army's strength was also completely a mess.
Because the Pavor Academy's graduates and students were composed, even though their numbers were small, they showed off a rather powerful might.
"Then are we marching northwest from now on towards the Pavor Castle, sir?"
When Austin cautiously asked, Roan slowly nodded his head.
"It would be a fierce march like a blaze. With the Pavor Castle as the starting point, I plan to completely reclaim the eastern region."
If they could only and perfectly reclaim the eastern region according to the plan, the frontline that would be left was only one place.
It was the western frontline, where the Chase Legion, who receded to the rear saying they will subjugate the Tale Legion, and the Owells Forces were located.
At that moment, Andre spoke up with a stiffly solidified expression.
"It would be good if things go according to the plan, but Walter Owells is there on the northeastern frontline, sir."
"Ah! Right. There is that bastard."
Bernard creased his forehead and echoed.
With a voice full of annoyance and anger, Andre added on.
"Although I do not wish to admit it, but that traitor bastard's abilities are quite excellent. In fact, the northeastern frontline's Lancephil Guardian Army is having a large and difficult battle."
As long as Walter is there, completely capturing the eastern region with the Pavor Castle as the starting point would not be so easy.
Instead, it could become a situation where they would have to fight while having an enemy troop at their back.
Everyone made worried expression.
However, Roan at least was greatly relaxed and composed.
"There is nothing to worry of Walter."
If he could, he wished to reveal that he was his man.
'It isn't the time yet.'
He inwardly shook his head.
At least until they brought down one of the enemy forces' pivots, he thought to protect the secret.
"He isn't such an easy bastard, sir."
Only Andre, who did not knew the truth, was frustrated.
Roan faintly smiled and tapped his chest with his right hand.
His voice was filled with certainty.
When it came to this point, Andre too couldn't speak up the same words anymore.
It was also the same for the other retainers.
Roan looked at such retainers for a moment, then shook his forefinger at Austin.
Austin slightly lowered his head, then sent a hand signal towards the subordinates at the back.
Soon, one soldier brought a tube about as thick as a forearm.
Austin received the tube and carefully opened the lid, then took out a long bundle of paper from its inside.
'What is it?'
Many retainers, including Bernard and Andre, tilted their heads with puzzled looks.
Following a soft gesture of the hand, the bundle of paper spread out on top of the table.
Suddenly, everyone's eyes widely opened.
"Th, this is......?"
"Is this perhaps......?"
Andre and Bernard couldn't easily continue their words and stuttered.
Austin cheerfully smiled and nodded his head.
"Yes. It's the Lancephil Fief's map."
The giant paper that spread on top of the table.
That was in fact a map that meticulously draw the Lancephil and the Tale Region.
It wasn't even comparable to the maps possessed by the Palace Library, the duke houses, or large merchants.
'I, I've never seen a map like this.'
That size and accuracy was truly incredible.
It was almost as if the sight of Lancephil Fief was spreading in front of their eyes.
Roan looked at the half-dazed retainers and spread his right index finger.
The index finger slowly moved above the map, then soon stopped above a valley located east of the Pavor Castle.
< Arslan Valley. >
With the tip of his index finger, Roan lightly tapped the Arslan Valley.
"The location of the first decisive battle is Arslan."
It was a powerful voice.
Roan looked straight at the retainers' eyes.
"We will annihilate the Owells Forces here."
< The Decisive Battle (3) > End.